Bernie sanders
Bernie sandersReuters

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders quipped Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in the West Virginia primary on Tuesday, though the latter continued to maintain a considerable lead in the race for the party nomination ahead of November's presidential elections. On the Republicn side, controversial candidate Donald Trump pocketed yet more wins in West Virginia and Nebraska, with all his party rivals having quit their campaigns. 

Voters in West Virginia represented the "highest level of economic concern in any Democratic primary this year," according to a preliminary ABC News exit poll, which said six in ten voters in the state were very worried about the direction of the nation's economy in the coming years. The network attributed the economic concerns to West Virginia's "depressed coal industry."

Following his victory in the state, Sanders, 74, said his was the "best campaign" to stop Trump from becoming the American president. 

"Every vote we earn and every delegate we secure sends an unmistakable message about the values we share, the country's support for the ideas of our campaign, and a rejection of Donald Trump and his values," Sander said after his victory in West Virginia, according to the Guardian

"Voters agree: just today, three new polls showed that we are the best campaign to defeat Trump."

Trump emerged as the Republican front-runner despite running a controversial campaign that has often been criticised as xenophobic and misogynistic. U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan had last week refused to endorse Trump and it is unclear if he will preside over the party's July convention.

The party leaders are expected to meet on Thursday, with many Republicans still reportedly divided over Trump's nomination.